WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - When was the last time you hula hooped? When you were a kid? Maybe ten years old?
That was the case for one Wilmington woman too, until about three years ago when she picked up a hoop again and made it a part of her daily life.
Sarah Rodriguez calls herself a hula hoop performance artist.
She saw a woman performing a hula hoop routine at a night club one day and thought it looked fun.
At that time in her life she said she was feeling sluggish and depressed and felt like she needed a little pick-me-up.
"I was getting a little older, entering my late twenties," Rodriguez said. "I started losing metabolism, gaining a little bit of weight, feeling sluggish, anxious, depressed. I just saw somebody doing this and how happy they were and thought how happy I could be."
Turns out, the hula hoop helped her do just that.
She says she didn't master the art of it overnight.
But with hard work and practice, she finally got the hang of it.
"I started practicing at home, I looked at YouTube videos, I took a class with Cape Fear Circus Arts Studio," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez says hula hooping is her form of exercise.
"Instead of going to the gym I just throw on a hula hoop and start moving and next thing you know my heart rate is elevated, endorphins are flowing, I feel good," Rodriguez said. "I feel better, I drink more water, and I feel happier and healthier."
She says she also loves the response she gets from people who come across her hula hooping.
"When other people watch it makes them happy."
Rodriguez says her favorite part about hula hooping is how it makes her feel.
"Being able to connect," she said. "Just moving around just like our indigenous ancestors once did and I feel like it brings me to my roots."
A year ago Rodriguez started teaching hula hoop performance classes at the Blockade Runner.
She typically teaches Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. but times may vary occasionally.
If you are interested in taking a class, you can contact The Blockade Runner for a date and time.